On a simple leaf, the leaf blade is singly attached to a twig or twig stem. On a compound leaf, all leaflets are attached to a single leafstem or rachis.
Compound leaves can be confusing because of the many variations of leaf structure. The major differences are palmate leaves, leaflets or lobes that grow from a leafstem in the manner of a hand. Pinnate leaves grow leaflets on opposite sides of a leafstem.
There are also leaves that have double compound or twice-compound leaflets.